The Indian feed industry

S.V. Vaidya

Dr S.V. Vaidya has been working in the feed industry since 1975 and has also worked in research and development, feed formulation, technical training, export, purchasing and the feed business. At present he is Managing Director of Pranav Agro Industries Ltd, Pune, India, and Chairman of the Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers' Association (CLFMA). He can be contacted at e-mail: svaidya@pn3.vsnl.net.in

The Indian feed industry is about 35 years old. It is mainly restricted to dairy and poultry feed manufacturing; the beef and pork industry is almost non-existent. The quality standards of Indian feeds are high and up to international levels. Raw materials for feed are adequately available in India. The industry's production is about 3.0 million tonnes, which represents only 5 percent of the total potential, and feed exports are not very high. The feed industry has modern computerized plants and the latest equipment for analytical procedures and least-cost ration formulation, and it employs the latest manufacturing technology. In India, most research work on animal feeds is practical and focuses on the use of by-products, the upgrading of ingredients and the enhancing of productivity.

The country has entered into a period of liberalization and this is bound to influence the livestock industry. The per capita consumption of milk, eggs and broiler meat will grow. The Indian feed industry is undergoing a very exciting phase of growth for the next decade.


Table of Contents

Introduction

The livestock industry of India

Feedstuffs and ingredients in animal feeds

Animal feed commodity production

Feed standards and specifications

Feeding practices and the use of compound feed

Research and development in animal feed

The feed industry and CLFMA

Issues in the animal feed industry

The future of the Indian feed industry - winds of change




INTRODUCTION

Feed manufacturing on a commercial and scientific basis started around 1965 with the setting up of medium-sized feed plants in northern and western India. Feed was produced mainly to cater to the needs of dairy cattle. The poultry sector was not developed at that time and was restricted to backyard production, with the desi (or native bird) kept mainly for the production of eggs. The poultry industry is now growing in importance. Today, the Indian feed industry is worth approximately Rs 45 billion, that is about US$1 billion.


THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY OF INDIA

India's animal wealth is quite large in terms of its populations of cattle, poultry, sheep and goats, camels, horses and pets (Table 1). Recently, aquaculture has also been growing in importance in India.


Table 1
Livestock population in India

Livestock type

Population

 

(millions)

Cattle

204.5

Buffaloes

84.2

Sheep

50.8

Goats

115.3

Pigs

12.8

Horses/ponies

0.8

Mules

0.2

Donkeys

0.9

Camels

1.0

Yaks

0.06

Mithuns

0.15

Total livestock

470.86

Source: Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture. 1992. Livestock census.

Dairy cattle

Worldwide, India is number one in milk production, at 78.0 million tonnes per annum, and the dairy industry is spread across the whole country. India has one of the largest populations of cattle and buffalo in the world. In a total of 288 million head, there are 10 million cross-bred cows, 15 million good milch cows of local varieties and 36 million buffaloes of good milch varieties (Table 2). The remainder of the cattle population is of a non-descript variety and a sizeable proportion consists of bullocks.


Table 2
Cattle and poultry indicators

Dairy

 

Cross-bred cows (millions)

10.0

Improved cows (millions)

15.0

Improved buffaloes (millions)

36.0

Milk production (million tonnes)

78.0

Per capita consumption (g/day)

240

Poultry

 

Commercial layers (millions)

150

Commercial broilers (millions)

650

Stock breeders (millions)

6.5

Egg production (109)

40

Per capita availability (eggs/year)

40

Poultry meat production (million tonnes)

1.0

Per capita availability (g/year)

1 000

Poultry feed production (million tonnes)

9.0

Annual growth

 

Dairy industry

5%

Layer industry

6-7%

Broiler industry

10%

Source: CLFMA studies assembled from published reports in Indian dairy and poultry journals.


  The cross-bred population is either Jersey or Holstein-Friesian, crossed with local cows. Cross-breeding was a natural solution to upgrading the milk yield in the absence of high-value imported varieties of pure-bred animals. The buffalo breeds are unique to India, and produce milk with a fat content of 7 to 8 percent.

  Milk is seen as a health drink and a variety of Indian sweets are prepared from milk. The ice-cream market is growing.

  Farms are located on the outskirts of cities and within cities. Almost all villages have a number of cattle, but there are only a few organized dairy farms. In India, dairy is not so much an industry as a smallholder farming activity.

  Growth in the milk sector has occurred mainly through cooperative efforts. Cooperatives started by supplying milk collection centres, where milk was collected from villagers in quantities as small as 1 litre, and gradually started to provide other services to farmers, including education, artificial insemination, veterinary health support and feeding. The small farmers became prosperous, loan facilities were made available through banks, and member farmers started to share the profits from cooperatives. Cooperatives also set up their own modern computerized feed plants. They have modern milk processing plants from which they produce and market pasteurized milk, butter, butter oil, chocolate, ice-cream and milk sweets, which are very popular with Indian consumers. Today, the feed production from cooperatives is about 0.6 million tonnes per year.

  The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), which has excellent facilities for research on breeding, nutrition and health care, has played a pivotal role in setting up cooperatives. Without NDDB and several of the existing dairy cooperatives, the milk sector in India would have suffered.

  The dairy industry in India is expected to grow, but growth will be restricted to individual small farmers. It is unlikely that India will see the advent of large, organized dairy farming in the near future.

Poultry

Compared with the rest of the livestock sector, the poultry industry in India is more scientific, better organized and continuously progressing towards modernization. Breeding and feeding management has improved through education, training, competition, expansion and survival instincts. India is the world's fifth largest egg producer, with a total production of 40 billion eggs per year. The broiler industry is growing at the rate of 10 percent per annum. Indicators are given in Table 2.

  India has 150 million layers and 650 million broilers. Annual per capita consumption of eggs is 40, and that of broiler meat is 1 000 g. Although these figures are low in comparison with those for developed countries, the industry has great potential to expand because 30 percent of the country's population (about 300 million people) is developing economically and the demand for poultry products is therefore likely to grow.

  The poultry industry has witnessed several ups and downs in the last 25 years as a result of unplanned growth and a lack of government regulation. Currently, it is growing at the rate of 10 percent in broilers and 6 to 7 percent in layers and is going through a phase of integration in broilers which is likely to change the face of the industry. Although the phenomenon is new, it is expected that there will be very rapid changes towards integration as more farmers find it increasingly difficult to run farms with marginal profits or negative margins. The poultry industry is very modern, with pure-line breeding, the latest vaccines and medicines, environmentally controlled poultry houses, up-to-date processing units, the latest management practices, chicken processing, exports of hatching eggs and excellent feed quality.

Sheep, goats and camels

The sheep and goat sector is mostly in the hands of nomadic tribes and no significant scientific husbandry, rearing and management practices are implemented. Research on breeding and nutrition is being conducted at research institutes and agricultural universities.

  Most of the country's camels are located in the desert area of the western part of India, in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, bordering Pakistan. Camels are reared by individuals who feed them local ingredients. There is a lack of scientific management practices, genetic studies and scientific feeding practices in camel rearing and the industry survives mostly on the basis of local, long-established knowledge of feeding and breeding. There is, however, a fairly good disease diagnosis and treatment system, with modern medicines and vaccines.

Swine

India is a multilingual, multiracial country whose people hold various religious beliefs. Although the majority of the population is Hindu, there are sizeable minorities of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsees and others. India also has a large tribal population and is a plural society in which the sentiments of each social and religious group need to be respected for harmony and peaceful coexistence. Thus, most states in India have banned cow slaughter and the beef industry is therefore non-existent. The majority of people disapprove of pork consumption, maybe because of the lack of scientific management on swine farms. Swine reared on the streets are very unhygienic and buyers are always suspicious about the source of pork, so there is no organized pork industry.

Aquaculture

The aquaculture industry is relatively young. Prawns and fish are grown in both fresh and brackish water, the latter being located mostly in the southeast and southwest coasts. Aquaculture feed is manufactured with highly scientific methods and modern plants that use new technologies and are highly efficient. Multinational companies from Thailand and Taiwan Province of China have invested in this business. India exports most of its aquaculture products.

Horses and pets

The Indian equine industry goes back more than 50 years and is considered modern, scientific and very well equipped in terms of every aspect of animal husbandry practices. The equine industry is spread across India and is restricted to horse racing. Imports of good genetic material are quite common in this industry. The feeding of these valuable animals is mostly at the farm level under the supervision of experienced people following traditional practices. What innovation there is tends to be closely guarded by the companies concerned.

  The Indian pet industry is in a nascent stage, with the main focus being on dogs rather than cats and the emphasis on breeding and training. Regular dog shows are held by enthusiastic dog owners to increase awareness of the rearing of good-quality pure-breds; dogs are a source of pride for households. In many cities, animal health care systems are run by qualified vets with well-equipped facilities such as X-ray machines, surgical facilities, imported vaccines and the latest drugs. The feeding of pets is however, left to the household. Some commercial preparations are available in the form of dog biscuits, chews, etc., but dogs are fed mostly on home-cooked food. One of the reasons for this could be the high cost of commercial pet food.


FEEDSTUFFS AND INGREDIENTS IN ANIMAL FEEDS

India is currently self-sufficient in livestock feeds and does not depend on imports. Instead, the country exports large quantities of solvent extracted meals, which are a major source of foreign exchange earning.

Cereals and grains

Maize, sorghum and bajra (a type of millet) are commonly used in animal feeds. Wheat and rice are mainly retained for human consumption.

Cakes and meals

Commonly used commodities of this kind are soybean, groundnut, rapeseed, sesame and sunflower meals in poultry feed. In cattle feed, in addition to these meals, others such as cottonseed and copra are used as premium ingredients.

Feeds of animal origin

Meat-meal, fishmeal, bone-meal and dicalcium phosphate of bone origin are the common raw materials available for animal feeding. It is interesting to note that, with the exception of some bone-based dicalcium phosphate, the Indian feed industry does not use materials of animal origin in dairy cattle feed. This was not out of fear of any zoonotic problems but the result of deep-rooted beliefs that the cow is sacred and must therefore be vegetarian. Now even the use of bone-based dicalcium phosphate has been banned and mineral-based dicalcium phosphate is used instead.

  Fishmeal and meat-meal were popularly used in poultry feed, but the increased production, improved availability and better awareness of soybean meal has led to its replacing fishmeal and meat-meal in most poultry rations. It should be mentioned that farmers have faced production problems owing to the bacterial contamination of fishmeal and meat-meal. The quality of fishmeal is also very poor.

Popular by-products

Some by-products are very nutritious and palatable to cattle, and these products form the bulk of cattle feed. They include wheat bran, rice bran and oil-extracted rice bran, tapioca, guar meal, safflower meal, maize gluten and molasses. A special mention should be made of Indian cattle feed's unique use of hulls or shells, popularly known as chunis in the local language. These shells come from pulses: horse gram, black gram, mung bean and pigeon pea.

Minerals and vitamins

Cattle feed is necessarily enriched with vitamins A and D3, and trace minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese, copper, cobalt and iodine. Calcium and phosphorus are also included. Poultry feed is enriched with all of these and all of the B complex vitamins.

Feed additives and supplements

Feed additives and supplements have played a very important role in enhancing the performance of dairy animals and, even more so, poultry. Today they are necessary in any feed formulation and essential for the formulation of a balanced diet. The additives and supplements used are antibiotic growth promoters (their usage is not banned in India), prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, mould inhibitors, toxin binders, anti-coccidial supplements, acidifiers, amino acids, by-pass fat, by-pass protein, non-antibiotic growth promoters, milk boosters, antioxidants, feed flavours and herbal preparations of Indian origin. A number of these products are imported from developed countries.


ANIMAL FEED COMMODITY PRODUCTION

Maize and sorghum

Maize is one of the most important cereals used in animal feed. The annual production of maize is about 10.5 million tonnes; about 4 million tonnes of which are used in the starch industry, 4.5 million tonnes in animal feeds and 2.5 million tonnes in human consumption and seed production. Maize production has remained almost static in the past three years while demand is increasing. The major crop is during the Kharif season (June to October), which accounts for 90 percent of the total. The remaining 10 percent is harvested in the Rabi season (November to February).

  The import of maize used to be restricted but, since April 2000, imports have been approved under open general licence (OGL). There are, however, 15 percent duty and a grain inspection fee to be paid, so there is no price parity between imported and domestically produced maize. There is no subsidy or minimum price index for maize, and the price varies with the market demand. Maize cannot be exported.

  Sorghum and bajra are very sturdy varieties of millet that can grow under limited rainfall conditions and are popularly used in animal feeds. Production of sorghum has remained static. There is no export of sorghum and bajra (millet). See Table 3 for production of maize and sorghum.


Table 3
Production of feed ingredients and solvent meals, 1998-1999

Commodity

Production

Export

 

(million tonnes)

(million tonnes)

Maize

10.2

0

Jowar

9.3

0

Soybean meal

2.7

2.731

Groundnut meal

0.59

0.09

Rapeseed meal

1.05

0.92

Sunflower meal

0.52

0.03

Cottonseed cake

1.12

0

Rice bran (deoiled)

2.95

0.005

1 Spillover from previous year's production.
Source: Government of India. 1995. Fertilizer statistics 1994-95.

Rice bran and solvent-extracted rice bran

Rice bran and solvent-extracted rice bran are by-products. India is one of the world's largest producers of rice, producing 87 million tonnes during 1998/99 (1.7 percent more than in the previous year), and India produces approximately 2.95 million tonnes of solvent-extracted rice bran, which is regularly exported.

Oilseed meals

India produces soybean, groundnut, rapeseed, sunflower, sesame and cotton meals and these are used as major ingredients in animal feeds. The production of solvent meals is shown in Table 3.

  For animal feeds, soybean is the most frequently used oilseed meal and has completely replaced fishmeal in poultry feeds. Cottonseed cake and meal are often used in cattle feed throughout the country. Groundnut meal is less popular because of the aflatoxin problem. Rapeseed meal is second to soybean meal in production and second to cottonseed cake and meal for cattle feed. Sunflower meal is commonly used in both cattle and poultry feed.

  India regularly imports edible oil and imported 4.4 million tonnes in 1998-1999. These imports have created problems for the country's crushers and, although India has about 600 solvent extraction units, they are running at only 50 percent of capacity.

  India's economy is agro-based but the yield per hectare is a cause of major concern to the country's farmers and agriculture. The government recognizes this and there are subsidies on fertilizers and power tariffs. The government also assures base prices for many agro-based commodities. India's average yields per hectare of major commodities compared with the highest yields realized worldwide are given in Table 4.


Table 4
Average yield per hectare of selected agricultural seeds
(in tonnes)

Seed

Highest yield worldwide

Indian yield

Soybean

2.62 (United States)

1.0

Rapeseed

3.52 (France)

1.0

Sunflower

1.78 (Argentina)

1.0

Groundnut

2.82 (United States)

1.5

Sesame

0.78 (China)

0.6

Maize

7.9 (United States)

1.6

Sources: Data collected from SEA Publications 2000; Government of India. 1995. Fertilizer statistics 1994-95.


  With a population of 1 billion people, the demand for agroproducts is great and India will have to augment its agricultural production by several hundred percent if the country is to remain self-sufficient.


FEED STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS

For cattle and poultry, nutritional standards have been prepared with respect to the genotype, environment, quality of available raw materials, maintenance methods, production and reproduction requirements, production capacity and phase of production.

  The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is a central government organization that facilitates discussion between scientists and industry and prepares guidelines and specifications. Table 5 shows the BIS specifications for dairy cattle and Tables 6a, 6b and 6c those for poultry.


Table 5
BIS standards, dairy feed requirements

Characteristic

Type I (IS: 2052, 1979, reaffirmed 1990)

Type II (IS: 2052, 1979, reaffirmed 1990)

Moisture (maximum %)

11

11

Crude protein (maximum %)

22

20

Crude fat (minimum %)

3

2.5

Crude fibre (maximum %)

7

12

Acid-insoluble ash (maximum %)

3

4

Source: Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, India.


Table 6a
BIS standards, poultry feed requirements

Characteristic

Broiler starter feed

Broiler finisher feed

Chick feed

Growing chicken feed

Laying chicken feed

Breeder layer feed

Moisture (maximum %)

11

11

11

11

11

11

Crude protein (N x 6.25) (maximum %)

23

20

20

16

18

18

Crude fibre (maximum %)

6

6

7

8

8

8

Acid-insoluble ash (maximum %)

3.0

3.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

Salt (as NaCl) (maximum %)

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

Source: BIS. Poultry feeds - specifications, fourth revision.


Table 6b
BIS standards, poultry feed declaration requirements

Characteristic

Broiler starter feed

Broiler finisher feed

Chick feed

Growing chicken feed

Laying chicken feed

Breeder layer feed

Calcium (Ca) (maximum %)

1.2

1.2

1.0

1.0

3.0

3.0

Available phosphorus (minimum %)

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

Lysine (maximum %)

1.2

1.0

0.9

0.6

0.65

0.65

Methionine (maximum %)

0.50

0.35

0.3

0.25

0.30

0.30

Metabolizable energy (minimum cal/kg)

2 800

2 900

2 600

2 500

2 600

2 600

Source: BIS. Poultry feeds - specifications, fourth revision.


Table 6c
BIS standards, poultry feed requirements for minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and vitamins

Characteristic

Broiler starter feed

Broiler finisher feed

Chick feed

Growing chicken feed

Laying chicken feed

Breeder layer feed

Manganese (mg/kg)

90

90

90

50

55

90

Iodine (mg/kg)

1

1

1

1

1

1

Iron (mg/kg)

120

120

120

90

75

90

Zinc (mg/kg)

60

60

60

50

75

100

Copper (mg/kg)

12

12

12

9

9

12

Vitamin A (IU/kg)

6 000

6 000

6 000

6 000

8 000

8 000

Vitamin D3 (IU/kg)

600

600

600

600

1 200

1 200

Thiamine (mg/kg)

5

5

5

3

3

3

Riboflavin (mg/kg)

6

6

6

5

5

8

Pantothenic acid (mg/kg)

15

15

15

15

15

15

Nicotinic acid (mg/kg)

40

40

40

15

15

15

Biotin (mg/kg)

0.2

0.2

0.02

0.15

0.15

0.20

Vitamin B12 (mg/kg)

0.015

0.015

0.015

0.01

0.010

0.01

Folic acid(mg/kg)

1.0

1.0

1.0

0.5

0.5

0.5

Choline (mg/kg)

1 400

1 000

1 300

900

800

800

Vitamin E (mg/kg)

15

15

15

10

10

15

Vitamin K (mg/kg)

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

Pyridoxine (mg/kg)

5

5

5

5

5

8

Linoleic acid (g/100 g)

1

1

1

1

1

1

Methionine + cystine (g/100 g)

0.9

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.55

0.55

Source: BIS. Poultry feeds - specifications, fourth revision.


  The Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers' Association (CLFMA) has prepared its own specifications, which are shown in Table 7 for cattle and Table 8 for poultry.


Table 7
CLFMA specifications for compound feeds, dairy cattle and buffaloes

Characteristic

Dairy special feed

Type I feed

Type II feed

Type III feed

Moisture (maximum %)

12.0

12.0

12.0

12.0

Crude protein (on dm basis) (minimum %)

22.0

20.0

18.0

16.0

Undegraded protein (minimum %)

8.0

--

--

--

Crude fat (minimum %)

3.0

2.5

2.5

2.0

Crude fibre (maximum %)

7.0

7.0

12.0

14.0

Acid-insoluble ash (maximum %)

3.5

4.0

4.5

5.0

Source: CLFMA Standards for Compound Animal Feeds.


Table 8
CLFMA specifications for compound feeds, poultry

Characteristic

Chick feed

Grower feed

Layer feed, I

Layer feed II

Broiler starter feed

Broiler finisher feed

Breeder chick feed

Breeder grower feed

Broiler breeder feed

Layer breeder feed

Broiler male breeder feed

Moisture (maximum %)

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

Crude protein (minimum %)

18

14

16

14

20

18

18

14

16

16

14

Fat (maximum %)

2

2

2

2

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

Crude fibre (maximum %)

7

8

8

10

6

5

5

7

7

7

7

Acid-insoluble ash (maximum %)

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

Metabolizable energy (minimum cal/kg)

2 600

2 300

2 500

2 300

2 600

2 700

2 600

2 400

2 500

2 500

2 400

Source: CLFMA Standards for Compound Animal Feeds.


  The specifications of both BIS and CLFMA are only guidelines and their use as standards is not compulsory. The animal feed business is competitive and feed manufacturers therefore endeavour to produce feed of the highest possible quality.


FEEDING PRACTICES AND THE USE OF COMPOUND FEED

In India, the term "compound feed" refers to feed that is nutritionally balanced and has been manufactured using the facilities of an analytical laboratory and under the supervision of nutritionists. There are also a large number of small-scale feed mixers who produce feed for local consumption. Such feed is termed "self-mixed feed" or "home-mixed feed".

Cattle feed

Cattle feeding practices are very traditional. Farmers choose their own ingredients and prepare their own formulations, believing that by these means they are able to pay more individual attention to their cattle. The productivity of the cattle is limited because of their poor genetic make-up, so high-quality compound feed (industry feed) may not necessarily generate a significant improvement in productivity and this has hampered growth of the cattle feed industry because most farmers are reluctant to use compound feed fully. Instead they compromise by using such feed in proportions of 5 to 60 percent, making up the balance with their own formulations. It is only in the case of highly productive animals that compound feed has been able to show its real potential and the importance of technology has been demonstrated.

  The share of compound cattle feed manufactured by the industry, in relation to the overall potential, is low for the following reasons:

Poultry feed

Poultry feed is divided into layer and broiler feed. In the case of layer feed, cost is the main constraint in using compound feed. An innovative, high-value compound feed can result in increased numbers of eggs, but the risks are too high because of the birds' long life cycle.

  Compound feed has, however, made a major contribution to broiler feeding. This is an example of excellent coordination among instrument technology, formulations and use of feed additives and supplements. Cost is a less important factor because the performance improvements are greater than the cost increases and the birds' life cycle is short.

  Two types of poultry feed are prepared. One is ready-made and in the form of mash or pellets. The second is in concentrated form for mixing with an energy source. Concentrates are protein sources, balanced in amino acids and containing vitamins, minerals and feed additives. They are mixed with energy sources such as maize, sorghum or bajra to prepare poultry rations.

The quality assurance of compound feed

The Indian feed industry employs the services of qualified nutritionists. Members of the industry have their own analytical laboratories and either have their own research and development facilities or have access to the research laboratories of agricultural universities or government institutions. The industry is fully committed to quality and its technical staff are knowledgeable about the nutrition of cattle, buffaloes, layers and broilers.

  As well as the normal proximate principles, other analyses are regularly carried out, such as amino acids, aflatoxin, ochratoxin, castor, tannins and urease activity. There is a high degree of awareness of feed microbiology among the millers of feed. Feed raw materials and finished products are subjected to microbial counts, Salmonella and Escherichia coli testing and mould count, and contaminated materials are rejected and sometimes destroyed. Insurance cover is available.

  The feed millers have acquired the latest technologies and modern equipment such as high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and near-infrared (NIR) analysers. All vitamins, minerals and other feed additives are regularly analysed using modern analytical techniques.

  Regular seminars are conducted, short-term courses are arranged and Indian scientists are constantly working to upgrade the quality of Indian feed and make it completely safe for animal feeding.

  The quality of Indian feed can be compared with that of any Western feed. Today it is common to achieve a chicken house average of 310 eggs in 52 weeks, in layers, and body weights of 2.0 kg in less than six weeks, with a feed conversion ratio of between 1.8 and 1.9, in broilers. Dairy feed can use the genetic potential of Indian cattle at its maximum. The quality of Indian feed is satisfactory and innovation will continue.


RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN ANIMAL FEED

Given the importance of feed ingredients, Indian scientists have worked on various aspects of research and development in the field of animal feeds and feeding. In the 1960s, all Indian raw materials were analysed for their proximate composition, metabolizable energy values and deleterious factors. During the 1970s, the government sanctioned special projects to study the use of by-products in animal feeds. Various by-products were considered and their nutritional parameters studied (a list of the various by-products available in animal feeds is given in Table 9). Indian scientists analysed ingredients for their chemical values and studied their biological values, and this information was useful to the industry in the initial stages of growth. In the 1970s and 1980s subsequent research was conducted on the energy-protein and energy-amino acid ratios and the vitamin and mineral requirements of animals. During the next phase of research, the main focus was on bypass fat and bypass protein utilization in ruminants, and on the role of various feed additives in enhancing milk, egg and broiler meat production. Research and development work has been conducted on least-cost formulations and usage of synthetic amino acids.


Table 9
By-products used in animal feed

Forest produce Babul seed, dhaincha seed, puwad seed, patwa seed, sagaon seed, san seed, tulsi seed, tamarind seed, babul falli, mesta seed

Food industry Biscuit waste, cocoa-shell powder, cocoa beans, maize dust, macaroni waste, issapgul chhala

Gum and starch industry Guar seeds, guar kurma and chuni, dhaincha kurma, tapioca milk powder, tapioca spent pulp, maize gluten, maize cake

Fruit and vegetable processing Orange peel, spent lemon, orange waste, jamun seed, potato waste, tomato waste, mango kernel, pineapple waste, mango seed extraction, coffee waste, extracted tea leaves

Alcohol industry Barley waste, yeast sludge, grape extractions, penicillin residue

Essential oil industry Spent residue of pepper, cardamom and ginger, spent ajwan seed, spent anthia seed cake

Note: Most of these by-products are used in cattle feed. They are regional and seasonal and used, always fresh, in small quantities.

Source: Author's selection from various research and published work.


THE FEED INDUSTRY AND CLFMA

CLFMA was formed in June 1967 as an association of feed manufacturers and associated industries such as ingredient suppliers, importers, feed additive manufacturers, consultants, hatcheries and milk cooperatives and feed machinery manufacturers. The objectives of CLFMA are to promote the concept of nutritionally balanced compound feed; to promote, assist, organize and coordinate scientific research in the field of animal nutrition; to conduct, assign, sponsor or co-sponsor surveys and studies; to collect, classify and circulate information related to animal feed to its members and government; to offer suggestions to government in formulating policies; and to impart training to livestock farmers, feed mill personnel, veterinarians, students and others. The office-bearers of CLFMA are elected and operate for a maximum of two years at one level.

  Over the years, CLFMA has been able to solve many problems of the industry, but many others still remain unsolved. CLFMA is gradually becoming a representative of the entire livestock industry. The feed production of its members is described in Table 10, while the industry's production of feed vis-á-vis potential is described in Table 11.


Table 10
CLFMA members' production of compound livestock feed
(million tonnes)

Year

Cattle

Poultry

Others

Total

1995

1.50

1.26

0.05

2.81

1996

1.50

1.40

0.03

2.93

1997

1.41

1.34

0.02

2.77

1998

1.46

1.69

0.03

3.18

1999

1.60

1.90

0.03

3.53

Source: CLFMA publications on production.


Table 11
Animal feed potential and the industry's production

Feed type

Potential

Industry's production

Production as % of potential

 

(million tonnes)

(million tonnes)

 

Cattle feed

60

1.6

2.6

Poultry feed

9

1.9

21.1

Total

69

3.5

5.07

       

Sources: Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture. 1992. Livestock census; CLFMA production figures.



ISSUES IN THE ANIMAL FEED INDUSTRY

Standardization and regulation of animal feed manufacturers

As already mentioned, BIS has produced guideline feed standards and the industry also has its own guidelines. Currently there is no compulsion to use BIS standards, but the central government has been advising states to introduce their own regulatory standards. The industry, however, is resisting this move. One of the major reasons for opposition is that the government wants to legislate regulation under the Essential Commodities Act 1955 which is considered draconian and totally inappropriate in this context.

  There is no shortage of compound animal feeds anywhere in the country. In fact, the organized sector of the compound feed industry is facing serious problems resulting from a huge idle capacity, to the extent of 50 percent or more. New capacities are being added by global players in the feed business and by national as well as multinational integrators. The nature of animal feeds and the animal feed industry has completely changed.

  Increasingly, products, including new products, are being excluded from the purview of the Essential Commodities Act 1955. Major raw materials for compound animal feeds, such as groundnut, soybean, rapeseed and sunflower meals and cottonseed and rice bran extract, which are exported, are not covered by the Act. There is therefore no reason for it to cover the animal feed manufactured with these raw materials.

  Furthermore, the industry has several reservations about implementing BIS standards. There is a lack of flexibility in these standards and they are lagging far behind the industry's products. For cattle, they have not been revised for 30 years, while the BIS standards for poultry are obsolete.

  Another feed standards issue that worries both the government and industry is that any changes to existing standards will be slow and difficult to arrive at because of participative conflicts and various lobbying groups. However, the industry's principal concern about compulsory standards is that they will disturb efforts to innovate and upgrade feed production in order to improve the productivity of the animals. This is because all innovations would have to be passed by BIS, and such a process is likely to take several years to complete.

Classifications of animal feed supplements/additives for import

The classification of feed additives is a major hindrance to the Indian feed industry. Worldwide, animal feed supplements and additives are covered under chapter 23.09 of the Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN), to which India is a signatory. In the HSN, all feed ingredients are listed under the "free" category for import, but the Indian Government put them into the "restricted" category in October 1995. Since then, there have been continuous discussions among the drug control authorities, the Director-General of Foreign Trade and the Central Excise Department, all of which want to bring feed additives under their administration so as to increase their own revenues. The industry, represented by CLFMA, has made several representations to the government, but these have been round various government departments, appellate tribunals, the High Court and the Supreme Court without providing any useful results for the industry.

Countervailing duty on amino acids

The essential amino acids, such as DL-methionine, L-lysine and L-threonine, are not manufactured in India. These products are vital ingredients of compound animal feed for improving the quality of the final feed and making it conversion-efficient. With a view to bringing about the rapid development of animal husbandry in India, the government reduced the import duty on essential amino acids to the present level of 10 percent customs duty, so that the feed price to livestock farmers would be economic. However, with the imposition of countervailing duty (CVD) and other duties, the objective of helping to promote animal husbandry has been defeated. Table 12 shows the import duty on amino acids in different countries.


Table 12
Import duty rates on amino acids in selected countries (1998)

Country

Rate

 

(%)

Hong Kong

0

Indonesia

0

Japan

0

Malaysia

0

Nepal

4.0

Pakistan

0

Singapore

0

Sri Lanka

5.0

Thailand

0

India

39.61

Source: Information collected by CLFMA from various feed associations in the other countries.


Local sales tax

Another threat to the industry is posed by local sales taxes. It must be noted that the feed industry is mainly commodity-oriented and, although it is value-added, it cannot support the burden of any kind of taxation. The industry has made several representations to the government and some state governments have accepted its point of view and refrained from levying any tax on animal feeds.

Import and export

Indian feed was exported to the Near East during the 1980s, but the export demand was reduced when feed mills were set up in the Near East. At present, India exports about 25 000 tonnes of feed to the Near East as general animal feed.

  There is no import of animal feed as such into India. However, the country does import certain chemicals, feed additives, amino acids and essentials for aquaculture feed.


THE FUTURE OF THE INDIAN FEED INDUSTRY - WINDS OF CHANGE

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, India has a population of 1 billion people. Although the annual growth rate has slowed from 2 to 1.8 percent, the base is so broad that changes in population dynamics are not perceptible. The population may stabilize by sometime between 2030 and 2040 if all sections of society support family planning wholeheartedly. The purchasing power of the middle class is growing (the middle class accounts for approximately 300 million people) and food habits are also changing.

  The Indian economy is growing at the rate of 6 to 8 percent per annum. The livestock industry in India is the second largest contributor to gross domestic product (GDP), after agriculture, and accounts for 9 percent of the total. Consumption is likely to increase as follows: per capita milk from 240 to 450 g per year; per capita eggs from 40 to 100 per year; and per capita broiler meat from 1 000 to 2 000 g per year.

  A major change is occurring in India on the economic front. The country has adopted a model that lies midway between liberal and public sector production, but growth has been affected by the poor performance of most of the public sector units, rising government costs and fiscal deficit, and the economy has suffered. A process of liberalization was set in motion by the government and has been implemented for the last eight to ten years. This has caused India to open up and invite investment from multinationals, liberalize imports, reduce government expenditure and remove public sector businesses. It also means that the days of nationalization, unnecessary government controls and restrictions will soon be over thanks to progress in the country's economy.

  India has entered into an agreement with its trade partners under the World Trade Organization (WTO). The changes brought about by the liberalization process will be slow but certain. The government is opening up imports in a phased manner, and it is expected that this process will be completed by April 2003. In the meantime, about 930 items, including agricultural products, will be open for import under open general licence from April 2001, making it possible to import dressed chicken, milk and milk products.

  Various livestock industry associations have taken issue with such imports in an attempt to protect their members. If the livestock industry is affected, the feed industry will also be affected. The Government of India has raised the tariff on all poultry and poultry products from 35 percent to the WTO boundary level of 100 percent. It therefore appears that there will be a level playing field.

  In view of the expected rise in per capita consumption of chicken meat, eggs and milk, livestock production and productivity will grow. The dairy industry, which is cooperative-based, is growing with the increased capacities of milk processing units. The population of cross-bred cattle and buffaloes is also growing. Milk is very popular in India. The poultry industry is developing towards vertical integration and a few multinational companies have already entered the Indian poultry business. Although the live bird market currently accounts for about 90 percent of the total market, it is expected that the consumption of dressed chicken will grow in the next five years, from the existing 10 percent to 25 percent or more. This would mean establishing very hygienic and scientific processing units. Cold chains, branded chicken, chicken cuts, etc. will be introduced and, depending on the success and consistent quality, consumer preference for dressed meat will grow.

  The next decade will see significant changes in restructuring, mergers, acquisitions, amalgamations, joint ventures, diversification, integration and efficient service chains, e-commerce and use of the latest information technology in global tenders, trading, export/import and other commercial activities. At the root of all these developments will be the scientific development of feed manufacturing technology. The Indian feed industry will increasingly use biotechnology, more scientific formulations, new molecules and natural and herbal products to improve animal productivity. Indian agriculture will also use biotechnology and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to support the feed industry, which is entering a very exciting phase of growth for the next decade.